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HP Pavilion gaming laptop buyer’s guide


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Budget pick

A cheap HP Pavilion gaming laptop with dedicated GTX 1050 GPU & Intel/AMD CPU

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (Intel 15-9300H, Nvidia GTX 1050)


Things to Consider before buying an HP Pavilion gaming laptop

Dedicated graphics vs integrated graphics (dGPU vs iGPU)

If you want to play any game beyond the most undemanding of strategy titles, you will need a dedicated graphics card. A Dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (dGPU for short) is essentially a completely separate component on your laptop, designed solely for graphical rendering (and other similar processes). This is in contrast to an integrated GPU (iGPU) which is a subcomponent attached to your processor / CPU, that does the same processes but has (in almost all cases) substantially less processing/rendering power. Most of the HP Pavilion laptop selections on this page will come with a dGPU, though the very cheapest options may only have an iGPU, and their gaming performance will suffer as a consequence. We’ll discuss this in each review on this list.

Refresh rate of HP Pavilion laptops

The refresh rate of a laptop’s display is arguably the most important thing you want to look for after the GPU and CPU if you’re interested in playing any kind of first-person shooter, particularly fast-paced online competitive shooters. The maximum refresh rate of a screen essentially caps the effective FPS that the screen can show, meaning even if you have core components powerful enough to run the game above this, you won’t enjoy the benefit. The base standard screen refresh rate these days is 60Hz (if you don’t see a refresh rate explicitly stated, you can usually assume it’s 60Hz). Typically we’d suggest aiming for 100Hz or above when shopping for a gaming laptop, but the majority of HP Pavilion laptops on this screen have 60Hz screens – these are fine for playing strategy games or 3rd person adventure titles on a budget (60Hz was the cap on the PS4 and XBox One after all), but for competitive online shooters, you’ll likely want to look for better.

Are HP Pavilion gaming laptops worth paying full price for?

The short answer to this is no: the HP store lists multiple Pavilion models, and we’d say that none of them are worth paying the stated full price for. Fortunately there are frequent sales on throughout the year on the HP store, with some discounts going as high as 50% off, so we’d keep checking back regularly until a discount is listed. Some good bargains can be found on the older models with dedicated graphics cards, for those looking for a cheaper gaming laptop experience.


Best HP Pavilion gaming laptop models 2022: a closer look

HP Pavilion 16-a0097nr (1660 Ti, i5-10300H, 144Hz)

HP Pavilion 16

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Pros